In May, Daniel Gallagher announced his intention to step down from the Securities and Exchange Commissioner. Now, the outspoken Republican commissioner has picked a date.
In a statement issued on Friday afternoon, Gallagher said he plans to step aside by Oct. 2 if his replacement is not seated by that date. Those plans will pressure on the Obama Administration to send a nominee to the Senate for confirmation. Congress returned from its summer recess on Monday.
Among the candidates rumored to be under consideration are Hester Peirce, a senior research fellow at George Mason University's Mercatus Center, a former Senate Banking Committee lawyer and vocal critic of the Dodd-frank Act.
Still no word, however, on when Luis Aguilar, a Democrat who has served as a commissioner for seven years, will make his planned exit. Aguilar has remained on the Commission even though his term expired in May and can continue to do so until 2016.
In advance of Aguilar’s departure, the White House has floated potential candidates, among them Keir Gumbs, a former SEC staffer (for both Commissioner Roel Campos and in the Division of Corporate Finance) who went on to join the law firm Covington & Burling as a partner. Talk of his nomination, however, drew opposition from Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) who complained that the “revolving door” between the SEC and private sector was once again evident. She was also critical of Gumbs’ specialization in advising clients how to stave off unwanted shareholder proposals, in particular demands to disclose politically motivated spending.
Concerned that Aguilar might not be replaced with someone having similar progressive and investor advocacy credentials, advocacy groups, including Public Citizen, also flagged Gumbs’ legal representation of the American Petroleum Institute before the SEC. The trade association successfully sued the Commission over rulemaking that would require oil, gas, and mining companies to disclose government payments for extraction rights. API did suffer a setback, however, when a federal judge ruled last month that the SEC must set an expedited timetable for issuing a rewrite of the earlier, vacated rule.
Also rumored to be on the list of Aguilar replacements is Jennifer Taub, a professor at Vermont Law School .